It is the mission of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts to serve as a catalyst for lifelong learning, discovery and exploration of the arts. The Wilson Center is a multidisciplinary nonprofit cultural arts facility with an 18-year history of excellence. The Wilson Center’s programming is designed to transform both individual lives and whole communities through the power of the arts. Situated Brookfield's beautiful Mitchell Park, the Wilson Center is recognized as a cultural anchor in the Greater Milwaukee community and focuses on three main disciplines: performing arts, arts education, and visual arts. Since opening in 2002, the Wilson Center has continued to celebrate its five core values of excellence, innovation, passion, stewardship and collaboration through a diverse array of premier performances, educational programs, classes, festivals and special events. The Wilson Center annually welcomes more then 45,000 people, including more than 10,000 students every year—many of whom are being introduced to the arts for the first time. Through arts education programs such as Beyond the Classroom, ArtsReach, and Arts Camp: The Art of Nature, as well as year-round visual art, dance, and theater classes and art exhibitions, the Wilson Center promotes lifelong learning for children, teens, families and adults.
The Wilson Center is recognized for its quality, eclectic performances and programs: Branford Marsalis, Audra McDonald, Pilobolus, Hilary Hahn, Suzanne Vega, Leo Kottke, Jessica Lang Dance, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Yamato, Al DiMeola, Kronos Quartet, Roseanne Cash, and many others internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles. Performances take place in the 607-seat Harris Theater, the cabaret style 136-seat Dawes Studio Theater, and the Gerlach/Haack Outdoor Theater, which is home every summer to the Starry Nights outdoor concert series.